31 October 2021

Science Twitter calaveras

Thanks Namnezia!

Skeleton wearing t-shirt with crayfish standing in front of poster
Poor ol' Zen Faulkes, 

the mob confused him for Guy Fawkes. 

Said "You got the wrong guy, I study crayfish!" 

But they thought he was being all selfish. 

From the bonfire he yelled "No, really, look at my poster!" 

That didn't work,they thought he was another imposter.


25 October 2021

How to fix an author in 10 ways

Wow, it’s been far too long since I’ve had a new paper with my name on it.

I got an email out of the blue asking if I would be interested in participating in writing this paper. It arose from my earlier paper on authorship disputes (Faulkes 2018) and why I think we should have more alternative dispute resolution in academic publishing.

I said yes, obviously.

You will notice that there are an equal number of “strategies” and “authors.” This is not coincidence. For the most part, each person on the author list tackled one section of the paper.

I’m section #8. 😉

My section was originally something like “Seek arbitration.” This was obviously inspired by the title of my previous paper, but I wanted to make something that was a little more expansive and wasn’t as close to what I’d written before.

After we each wrote our sections, all the authors read through and left comments for each other. Steven Cooke did the work to smooth out the rough edges and harmonize the contributions of all the authors.

I made one other contribution. I think after the first draft went for review, Steven Cooke suggested it would be nice to have some sort of figure in the paper. I made this very quick and dirt concept figure in PowerPoint:

Flow chart with causes of disputes on left, dispute in middle, and solutions for disputes on right.

The final version in the paper is much better! It added more elements (four solutions instead of three). It used a lot of icons to make it much more visual.

So I am extremely pleased to have been part of this paper. I hope people find it useful.


Cooke SJ, Young N, Donaldson MR, Nyboer EA, Roche DG, Madliger CL, Lennox RJ, Chapman JM, Faulkes Z, Bennett JR. 2021. Ten strategies for avoiding and overcoming authorship conflicts in academic publishing. FACETS 6: 1753-1770. https://doi.org/10.1139/facets-2021-0103

Faulkes, Z. 2018. Resolving authorship disputes by mediation and arbitration. Research Integrity and Peer Review 3: 12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-018-0057-z


24 October 2021

Science isn’t the only one fighting recommendation algorithms and bemoaning education

This article about crises in American evangelical churches resonates with crises we see in science communication.

The churches’ problems? People aren’t getting enough education and social media’s recommendation algorithms are too influential.

“What we’re seeing is massive discipleship failure caused by massive catechesis failure,” James Ernest, the vice president and editor in chief at Eerdmans, a publisher of religious books, told me. Ernest was one of several figures I spoke with who pointed to catechism, the process of instructing and informing people through teaching, as the source of the problem. “The evangelical Church in the U.S. over the last five decades has failed to form its adherents into disciples. So there is a great hollowness.” ...

“Culture catechizes,” Alan Jacobs, a distinguished professor of humanities in the honors program at Baylor University, told me. ... Our current political culture, Jacobs argued, has multiple technologies and platforms for catechizing—television, radio, Facebook, Twitter, and podcasts among them. People who want to be connected to their political tribe—the people they think are like them, the people they think are on their side—subject themselves to its catechesis all day long, every single day, hour after hour after hour. ...

(W)hen people’s values are shaped by the media they consume, rather than by their religious leaders and communities, that has consequences. “What all those media want is engagement, and engagement is most reliably driven by anger and hatred,” Jacobs argued. “They make bank when we hate each other.(”)

And wow, does that ever sound familiar.

The clergy bemoaning the lack of education in religious instruction puts a twist on the long-running arguments about teaching creationism in public schools. It suggests the reason some fundamentalists fought so hard on those issues because at some level they saw their own catechesis was failing.

Related posts

Recommendation algorithms are the biggest problem in science communication today

External links

The evangelical church is breaking apart